(I’m taking marketing and creativity questions. Feel free to hit me up at @BJMendelson with your question and I’ll answer it here. If you like the answer, I hope you’ll help me in my fundraiser here.)
Without empathy, we wouldn’t have seen the development of human rights around the world. That’s not me saying that, that’s Dr. Lynn Hunt, who wrote “Inventing Human Rights.” And if you want to generate empathy in people, the best way to do it (I feel, and so does Dr. Matha Nussbaum in “The Monarchy of Fear”) is through art.
So, I’m going to tell you something kind of counterintuitive, and you can do with it what you want.
If you’re thinking of writing a book about a queer romance, as one person asked me about on Twitter this evening, but you’re not sure if you should write it or not because there might not be an audience … You should absolutely write the book anyway.
Make more art. More more more. As much as you can with the time that you can. If you want the world to be a better place, you can (and should) vote, but you can also make more art.
Art = More empathy = A better world for everyone.
“What if nobody wants it?”
That’s a fair question. But William Goldman, who passed away today, once said that “Nobody knows anything” in his book, “Adventures in the Screen Trade.” And he’s right.
Goldman was talking about why some movies hit big and other movies that you think will hit big don’t hit at all. The answer? Nobody really knows anything. And that’s even truer today than when the book was written in 1983. The same year I was born.
So look, there’s always more to say, but I’m trying to keep my blog posts short while I work on other stuff.
The thing you need to know here is that, when we’re talking about art, when we’re talking about the thing you want to create more than anything, don’t get stuck on whether or not people are going to want it.
Make it because you want to make it. And then when you’re done and if it flops, make something else.
But it might not! You could have a big hit on your hands. We just don’t know, and neither will you until you give it a shot.
And I’d like to think when we’re talking about the universality of something like love, plenty of people will be there to pick something like this up.